An 'Real Name' badge.
As all of the tech media websites have been talking about, Amazon has changed its review system to include "Real Names." They explain their rationale thusly:

In general, we believe that a community in which people use their Real Names will ultimately have higher quality content, since an author willing to sign his or her real-world name on a piece of content is essentially saying "With my real-world identity, I stand by what I have written here."

However, the web is rife with speculation that this is to directly combat authors from positively reviewing their own books; a widespread practice. However, since I do not write book reviews on Amazon and do not use them when buying books (since the majority of books I purchase are ordained by college professors), I did not think this news would affect me very much.

Some minutes ago, I was reading Pitchfork's review of Bad Religion's "The Empire Strikes First." It sounded interesting enough so I went over to Amazon to look at the tracklist. While I am not a Bad Religion fanboy or anything, I have listened to a few of their older songs, and I can remember when "Sorrow," the first single from their 2002 album "The Process of Belief" was in radio rotation. There is a notable difference in the band's sound. Assuming that they would be lots of reviews, I looked forward to seeing a flamewar ("I know other reviewers have claimed the new sound of %BAND% sucks and their new pop sound means they have sold out, but last night, God came down from Heaven and told me %ALBUM% is a natural step in %BAND%'s evolution...)

I was disappointed to find despite the fact it was released two months ago and was the "#29 Early Adopter Product in Alternative Rock," there was only 1 review. I was skimming over the name (noting it had one of those silly "Real Name" badges) and location when I realized I knew that name. Since the location was "Cambridge, MA," I was certain that the reviewer was one of my classmates at Harvard. While I initially found myself swayed into considering an impulse purchase (Revisions, a compilation of alternate history stories, was released today; since it has a story co-authored by Cory Doctorow, I was thinking about purchasing it), but decided against it after reading some of my friend's other reviews (Five stars for AFI's Sing the Sorrow?). Besides, I recently made the large purchase of a laptop (a Dell Inspiron 9100, which will hopefully be delivered soon) and I am in much more of a Pixies mood right now.

It seems like this blog is becoming more like a LiveJournal diary every day...

Current mood: whimsical.